2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

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2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:40 pm

So conversion stats for HSNCT finally came out last week. Here are some selected conversion stats for tossups previously discussed in this thread (organized by powers/regular gets/negs):

Glenn Greenwald - 14/14/51 in 79 rooms

Boston Tea Party - 32/52/7 in 86 rooms

Algeria - 48/33/4 in 81 rooms

Battle of Dien Bien Phu - 33/40/8 in 85 rooms

KKK - 34/6/2 in 40 rooms

Abduction from the Seraglio - 4/13/20 in 86 rooms

South China Sea - 21/12/6 in 33 rooms

Zionism - 7/33/2 in 40 rooms

Okonkwo - 53/24/6 in 86 rooms

ABC - 46/40/0 in 86 rooms

histone - 7/18/6 in 25 rooms

China - 36/46/13 in 84 rooms

transgender people - 36/9/5 in 47 rooms

Nicholas Nickleby - 3/28/9 in 83 rooms

Measure for Measure - 7/14/8 in 37 rooms

Some other interesting data:

Overall, the history tossups in this year's HSNCT had a 93% end-conversion rate, and a 34% power rate.

The geography tossups had a 94% end-conversion rate, and a 38% power rate.

Meanwhile, the science tossups had a 90% end-conversion rate, but only a 17% power rate.

Some preliminary observations:
  • Glenn Greenwald is important, but this tossup seemed to just be negbait for Snowden.
  • As suspected, Abduction from the Seraglio was too hard to toss up.
  • It looks like my tossup on South China Sea was too easy after all. I originally wrote the tossup based on news from April, but I suppose the story on the South China Sea's artificial islands really exploded in the weeks leading up to the HSNCT.
  • My tossups on Algeria and the KKK were definitely too easy to power. That being said, it seems like the history and geography in this set were also just really generously power-marked, in general. I don't actually have an ideological problem with this (as I've said earlier, I think more powers is good for increasing the accessibility of the game). That being said, it's unfortunate that the power markings in this year's science were not similarly lenient.
  • MEASURE FOR MEASUREEEEEEEEEE
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Corry » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:55 pm

As mentioned before, I wrote a lot of stuff for this set (over 100 questions, plus an addition 40-50 that I edited). Now, having looked through the conversion stats from my questions, a few results particularly stick out to me:

Baffin Island (written and edited by me):
In 1976 a {stuntman} {base-jumped} off this island's Mount Asgard to film the opening scene of ~The Spy Who Loved Me~. This island also contains Mount Thor, which has Earth's greatest vertical drop. In 1616 this island's east coast was (*) mapped by its namesake, who was aboard a {ship} named ~Discovery~ as it sailed through the Davis Strait. Iqaluit [ee-KAH-loo-it], the capital of Nunavut, is on--for 10 points--what largest island of Canada?
Powers/Gets/Negs: 13/50/38 in 85 rooms

I really was not expecting so many people to get this question wrong. Perhaps it prompted negs on Greenland? If somebody who played at the HSNCT could chime in on this matter, I'd really appreciate the feedback.

New Guinea (edited by me):
An inhabitant of this ~island~ asks the question that opens {Jared Diamond}'s book ~Guns, Germs, and Steel~. This island's western and eastern ends are called the {Bird's Head} and {Bird's Tail}. This island's Mundugumor [mun-DOO-guh-mawr], Tchambuli [CHAM-boo-lee], and Arapesh peoples were (*) studied by Margaret Mead in ~Sex and Temperament~. For 10 points--the Torres [TOR-ress] Strait separates Australia from what island partly controlled by Indonesia?
Powers/Gets/Negs: 22/29/61 in 86 rooms

Whoops, it looks like I really screwed up here. This was actually the most negged tossup in the entire HSNCT- it was negged in a whopping 71% of rooms where it was heard.

I'm suspect that the Jared Diamond and Margaret Mead clues are the ones that really threw people off here (again, feedback from actual players at the HSNCT would be great!). In the meantime, I will never toss up New Guinea at the high school level ever again. Promise.

Apple (written by me):
In 1987 this technology company's CEO {John Sculley} introduced the unsuccessful Newton PDA, which featured famously bad {handwriting recognition}. This company hired Ridley Scott to direct its {TV commercial} "1984," which depicted IBM as Big Brother. In 1983 it copied designs from Xerox PARC to launch the (*) Lisa, its first computer with a {graphical user interface}. For 10 points--name this company that introduced the Macintosh.
Powers/Gets/Negs: 84/2/0 in 86 rooms

Heh, I guess this tossup was way too easy-- it was actually the most powered tossup in the entire HSNCT. Do this many high schoolers really know Apple's 1984 Super Bowl commercial? I'm impressed.

Vietnam War (written by me):
One {photo} from this war depicts a street where a general holds his {pistol} to the head of a prisoner in a {plaid} shirt. Another photo from the end of this war depicts a long line of people climbing to a CIA {helicopter} on a rooftop. During this war, Malcolm Browne photographed a (*) Buddhist {monk} {setting himself on fire} to protest {Ngo Dinh Diem}'s [noh din d'yem's] policies. For 10 points--name this war that ended with the fall of Saigon ["sigh-GONE"].
Powers/Gets/Negs: 79/5/1 in 85 rooms

Evidently, this tossup was too easy as well, although I was personally a bit surprised by this. I'd still argue that all of the clues here are in the correct pyramidal order, but I suppose that point is moot.

If memory serves me, I originally rated this question as 4-6 difficulty, meaning it could be used anywhere from a regular IS set, up to the HSNCT (although this difficulty rating seems to have been changed by the subject editor).
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Are the conversion stats for all tossups up? If so where can I find this information?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:42 pm

That DCC guy wrote:Are the conversion stats for all tossups up?
Yes.
That DCC guy wrote:If so where can I find this information?
We don't publish the complete list, but I will take requests for individual questions in this thread.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:29 pm

I wanna see the conversion rates for...
War of the Succession
Roger Taney
Sudan
Albania
HUAC
Dam Breaks
Holy Roman Emperors
Democrats
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by High Dependency Unit » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:30 pm

What was the conversion for the "Cliff Paul" tossup?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:34 pm

Mucho Macho Man wrote:What was the conversion for the "Cliff Paul" tossup?
The National Bureau of Assists could give you a hand with this question. :party:
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:47 pm

War of the Succession
Was trying to say War of the Spanish Succession
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:02 pm

Corry wrote:Whoops, it looks like I really screwed up here. This was actually the most negged tossup in the entire HSNCT- it was negged in a whopping 71% of rooms where it was heard.

I'm suspect that the Jared Diamond and Margaret Mead clues are the ones that really threw people off here (again, feedback from actual players at the HSNCT would be great!). In the meantime, I will never toss up New Guinea at the high school level ever again. Promise.
I'm baffled by the neg rate here. As I see it, the question is perfectly fine. I suspect one of three things might have happened: People heard "Jared Diamond" and negged with something like "Easter Island" (wrong book, and not many people live on Easter Island, but w/e), or they negged with some other island Mead studied, or they said Papua New Guinea rather than New Guinea.
In 1987 this technology company's CEO {John Sculley} introduced the unsuccessful Newton PDA, which featured famously bad {handwriting recognition}. This company hired Ridley Scott to direct its {TV commercial} "1984," which depicted IBM as Big Brother. In 1983 it copied designs from Xerox PARC to launch the (*) Lisa, its first computer with a {graphical user interface}. For 10 points--name this company that introduced the Macintosh.
Well, it's a company that made a device called the "Newton"...more seriously, I do think the Big Brother commercial, the PARC GUI story, etc. have got a lot of attention - the latter especially in the mythology surrounding Steve Jobs.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by gustavadolf » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:18 am

Can I see the conversion stats for the Gibbs Phase Rule tossup?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Cody » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:27 pm

gustavadolf wrote:Can I see the conversion stats for the Gibbs Phase Rule tossup?
There was a what?!!!
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:43 pm

Cody wrote:
gustavadolf wrote:Can I see the conversion stats for the Gibbs Phase Rule tossup?
There was a what?!!!
The very first tossup of the tournament, no less!
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:46 pm

Spanish Succession: 12/60/18 in 83 rooms
Taney: 6/66/5 in 86 rooms
Sudan: 10/5/5 in 16 rooms
Albania: 13/3/3 in 16 rooms
HUAC: 0/3/3 in 3 rooms
dam failures: 1/1/2 in 3 rooms
Holy Roman Emperor: 2/1/1 in 3 rooms
Democratic Party: 3/11/5 in 14 rooms
Cliff Paul: 3/6/4 in 10 rooms
Gibbs phase rule: 2/45/12 in 80 rooms
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Re: 2015 HSNCT discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:48 pm

Auks Ran Ova wrote:
Cody wrote:
gustavadolf wrote:Can I see the conversion stats for the Gibbs Phase Rule tossup?
There was a what?!!!
The very first tossup of the tournament, no less!
2015 HSNCT round 1 wrote:This four-term equation--a key result of the 1870s publication On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances--explains why the triple point must be a point rather than a region. Neither temperature nor pressure can vary because 2 plus the number of components, 1, minus the number of (*) phases in equilibrium, 3, equals 0. The namesake of the thermodynamic state function G also devised--for 10 points--what "phase rule"?

answer: _Gibbs phase rule_ (accept _Gibbs_ after "rule"; prompt on partial answer before "rule")
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:30 pm

Can I see conversion stats on the Hestia tossup? I'm wondering if the Priapus-rape clue threw off anyone else.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:59 pm

5/72/16 in 86 rooms.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:01 pm

Corry wrote:Whoops, it looks like I really screwed up here. This was actually the most negged tossup in the entire HSNCT- it was negged in a whopping 71% of rooms where it was heard.
I'm not sure how this is a screw-up in terms of writing because all of those clues apply unambiguously to New Guinea. I think people who didn't know what they were talking about buzzed and negged. Maybe the question was too hard for the tournament, but people negging because they make the "those people were in a Margaret Mead work, so I will say some Pacific Island" or whatever doesn't mean you made a mistake. Tossing up a big, important island like New Guinea at a hard high school tournament seems completely defensible to me.

Seriously, how could the Jared Diamond clue be confusing to anybody? That's a very famous book and it unambiguously opens by saying that Yali is a guy from New Guinea.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:14 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Corry wrote:Whoops, it looks like I really screwed up here. This was actually the most negged tossup in the entire HSNCT- it was negged in a whopping 71% of rooms where it was heard.
I'm not sure how this is a screw-up in terms of writing because all of those clues apply unambiguously to New Guinea. I think people who didn't know what they were talking about buzzed and negged. Maybe the question was too hard for the tournament, but people negging because they make the "those people were in a Margaret Mead work, so I will say some Pacific Island" or whatever doesn't mean you made a mistake. Tossing up a big, important island like New Guinea at a hard high school tournament seems completely defensible to me.

Seriously, how could the Jared Diamond clue be confusing to anybody? That's a very famous book and it unambiguously opens by saying that Yali is a guy from New Guinea.
Personally, I think that an ideal question should not just be factually accurate/unambiguous, but should also play well in a real-life tournament. Empirically, this question played quite poorly, which I consider to be an oversight on my part.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:23 pm

I would agree, but I think the reasons it played poorly had absolutely nothing to do with how it was written, its content, or even its difficulty - those are all famous works of anthropology and history you are talking about in that question (which I think was interesting and well-written). You could reasonably expect an intellectually curious high schooler to encounter any or all of them, especially if said high schooler prepares for quizbowl! As a writer, I do not think you could have reasonably anticipated the problems with play that it generated unless you are assuming people will automatically buzz with noted island group (not single island) Samoa if they hear "Margaret Mead" or if they think Papua New Guinea is an island (which it is not).
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:27 pm

Corry, while it's admirable that you try to see how well your questions played out in numerical terms wherever possible, it seems to me in general that you tend to take NAQT's internal conversion statistics to be the be-all and end-all of question quality far too quickly.

Any question set is going to have some variability in difficulty from question to question -- it's not necessarily a failure on your part if half the rooms at a tournament power a particular individual question, as opposed to exactly 25% or whatever the target metric is; after all, that target metric is for overall power numbers for all teams across all questions across the whole set. (Especially if we're into the playoffs and all the teams that are left standing are above-average in skill level.) What's more, a large number of negs doesn't necessarily imply that the question was flawed; you have to go and take a look back at the question to see if the fault is with you or with the players, rather than immediately assuming you've done something wrong. I agree with the folks who believe you've drawn a mistaken inference when you go from "61 teams negged this New Guinea tossup" to "I shouldn't ever write a tossup on New Guinea again" -- the clues are unique and pyramidally ordered, so in this case the mistake fell on the players' end and not yours.

And yeah, the photograph clues are both pretty easy for the Vietnam War tossup.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:46 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:Spanish Succession: 12/60/18 in 83 rooms
Taney: 6/66/5 in 86 rooms
Sudan: 10/5/5 in 16 rooms
Albania: 13/3/3 in 16 rooms
HUAC: 0/3/3 in 3 rooms
dam failures: 1/1/2 in 3 rooms
Holy Roman Emperor: 2/1/1 in 3 rooms
Democratic Party: 3/11/5 in 14 rooms
Cliff Paul: 3/6/4 in 10 rooms
Gibbs phase rule: 2/45/12 in 80 rooms
Is their anyway someone could show the whole Roger Taney and Spanish Succession tossups?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:49 pm

Also just a general question(may sound stupid) but why do we not post all the conversion stats? Like why can't you just post a link that shows all the conversion stats for every tossup rather than having us ask for specific tossups?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:50 pm

2015 HSNCT round 7 wrote:When the Senate voted against this man's nomination as secretary of the treasury in 1834, he became the first cabinet nominee to be rejected by the Senate. The next year, this man's nomination to replace the retiring Gabriel Duvall also failed, though Andrew Jackson managed to get the Senate to confirm this man as the successor to (*) John Marshall. For 10 points--name this Chief Justice who wrote Dred Scott v. Sandford.
2015 HSNCT round 15 wrote:During this war, George Rooke destroyed a treasure fleet at the Battle of Vigo Bay, but failed to capture Cadiz after his troops became extremely drunk on local wine. Rooke later captured Gibraltar during this war, which also included Allied victories at Ramillies and (*) Blenheim. The Treaty of Utrecht ended--for 10 points--what war that began after Louis XIV attempted to unite the thrones of France and Spain?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:11 pm

That DCC guy wrote:Also just a general question(may sound stupid) but why do we not post all the conversion stats? Like why can't you just post a link that shows all the conversion stats for every tossup rather than having us ask for specific tossups?
We're happy to answer inquiries about particular questions, but we have no plans to post the complete set of data for the entire tournament.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:28 pm

We're happy to answer inquiries about particular questions, but we have no plans to post the complete set of data for the entire tournament
I understand, but is there any underlying reason why you can't post it?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:42 pm

Matthew J wrote:Any question set is going to have some variability in difficulty from question to question -- it's not necessarily a failure on your part if half the rooms at a tournament power a particular individual question, as opposed to exactly 25% or whatever the target metric is; after all, that target metric is for overall power numbers for all teams across all questions across the whole set. (Especially if we're into the playoffs and all the teams that are left standing are above-average in skill level.) What's more, a large number of negs doesn't necessarily imply that the question was flawed; you have to go and take a look back at the question to see if the fault is with you or with the players, rather than immediately assuming you've done something wrong. I agree with the folks who believe you've drawn a mistaken inference when you go from "61 teams negged this New Guinea tossup" to "I shouldn't ever write a tossup on New Guinea again" -- the clues are unique and pyramidally ordered, so in this case the mistake fell on the players' end and not yours.
Don't worry, I'm quite okay with natural variation between questions in a set. Plenty of my questions in the HSNCT were powered/converted at above-average rates, and many at sub-average rates as well. Fine with me.

The New Guinea question simply happens to be an egregious outlier-- personally, I think if a sizable majority of teams neg a question, it is problematic regardless of whether the editor or the players are to blame. Even if the players are to blame (for making ill-conceived buzzes), that's still probably indicative of the fact that the question was too hard, for instance.

For what it's worth, this is actually the second time I've tried putting a New Guinea tossup in the HSNCT. In the 2014 HSNCT, I also wrote a tossup on New Guinea that was negged at quite a high rate (and I'm sure that none of the clues were particularly ambiguous that time, either). So to clarify: based on multiple data points, I've now decided that high schoolers in general don't have the sufficient knowledge to make intelligent buzzes on New Guinea.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by vinteuil » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:48 pm

Corry wrote:
Matthew J wrote:Any question set is going to have some variability in difficulty from question to question -- it's not necessarily a failure on your part if half the rooms at a tournament power a particular individual question, as opposed to exactly 25% or whatever the target metric is; after all, that target metric is for overall power numbers for all teams across all questions across the whole set. (Especially if we're into the playoffs and all the teams that are left standing are above-average in skill level.) What's more, a large number of negs doesn't necessarily imply that the question was flawed; you have to go and take a look back at the question to see if the fault is with you or with the players, rather than immediately assuming you've done something wrong. I agree with the folks who believe you've drawn a mistaken inference when you go from "61 teams negged this New Guinea tossup" to "I shouldn't ever write a tossup on New Guinea again" -- the clues are unique and pyramidally ordered, so in this case the mistake fell on the players' end and not yours.
Don't worry, I'm quite okay with natural variation between questions in a set. Plenty of my questions in the HSNCT were powered/converted at above-average rates, and many at sub-average rates as well. Fine with me.

The New Guinea question simply happens to be an egregious outlier-- personally, I think if a sizable majority of teams neg a question, it is problematic regardless of whether the editor or the players are to blame. Even if the players are to blame (for making ill-conceived buzzes), that's still probably indicative of the fact that the question was too hard, for instance.

For what it's worth, this is actually the second time I've tried putting a New Guinea tossup in the HSNCT. In the 2014 HSNCT, I also wrote a tossup on New Guinea that was negged at quite a high rate (and I'm sure that none of the clues were particularly ambiguous that time, either). So to clarify: based on multiple data points, I've now decided that high schoolers in general don't have the sufficient knowledge to make intelligent buzzes on New Guinea.
I think that you're putting "too hard" and "didn't play well" too much in the same boat. MFT had a tossup on Egyptian burial that practically everyone negged with "mummification"; doesn't mean it's too hard, but does mean that that was not a good answer choice. Similarly, your first clue wasn't necessarily too hard—just encouraged negging.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:58 pm

vinteuil wrote:I think that you're putting "too hard" and "didn't play well" too much in the same boat. MFT had a tossup on Egyptian burial that practically everyone negged with "mummification"; doesn't mean it's too hard, but does mean that that was not a good answer choice. Similarly, your first clue wasn't necessarily too hard—just encouraged negging.
Perhaps so. That being said, I think those two concepts frequently fall in the same boat: poorly-played answer lines are often confusing simply because they're too hard. For instance, if you had tossed up "Egyptian burial" at a quiz bowl tournament played entirely by Egyptologists, the question probably would've worked out great.

It's possible that the Jared Diamond clue would play okay at SCT or something.

As a side note, yeah that Egyptian burial tossup at MFT was mega dumb.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:49 pm

Corry wrote:As a side note, yeah that Egyptian burial tossup at MFT was mega dumb.
Admittedly I am probably biased because I got the tossup early, but I don't understand how that question was "mega dumb" at all. People who knew things about Egyptian funerary practices and how they are notably different than mummifications were able to buzz and get points. People who did not know the difference and could only figure out "this is something Egyptian involving dead people" and assumed the answer to be "mummification" did not get points, or got negative ones. This strategy works some of the time in quizbowl but, like most strategies that do not involve direct knowledge of the answer, there was a chance it could fail and that is totally fine. There's no possible question about answerline difficulty here (it's not like Cult of the Supreme being vs Cult of Reason ala ACF Nationals 2013), or even material difficulty, since a reasonable number of people learn about Egyptian burial practices in things like middle school history classes and documentaries, so it seems like it was just a question of people not knowing things.

The changing of that question to ask about "dead people" may well have played out better, though I don't think anything ever got mentioned about that.

I still see no possible reason that the Jared Diamond clue could induce negging. Yali is from New Guinea and this is made abundantly clear to anybody who reads that book or a summary of it. Maybe you read a summary that was wrong or confused Guns, Germs, and Steel with Collapse and buzzed with "Greenland" thinking it was talking about failed Viking settlements, but that's not a good excuse.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by MLafer » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:12 am

Are people being willfully dense here? I guarantee that the vast majority of the people who negged the New Guinea question did so with 'Samoa' after the clue about Margaret Mead. Lower-skill players only know one thing about Mead, that she wrote 'Coming of Age in Samoa'. Some people may have reflexed buzz when they heard Samoa, even though they know there isn't an island called 'Samoa'. Some people may not know Samoa is not an island. In Hartian terms there seems to be a lack of 'empathy' for how the question would play for lower-bracket teams.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Ike » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:59 am

I think some of the posts in this thread are a classic case of misusing metrics (in this case, conversion data) in quizbowl. I write tossups on things - though not for this tournament - that are meant to have less than perfect conversion. That doesn't mean the question is bad. For example, I think it's perfectly okay to have a sparingly small amount of Abduction from the Seraglio difficulty tossups in a set where the ostensible purpose is to determine the national champion. As another example, I really am baffled by the conclusion that New Guinea is too hard to tossup - Matt Lafer is right, it's pretty obvious to me that many teams took the "neg bait" that was in the question text and not that Samoa was too hard to tossup. If you remove that "neg bait" you will have better conversion and fewer negs. I think

Jacob Reed demonstrates how to use metrics correctly with his Egyptian burial* example - look at the metrics for a tossup, then look at the question text / answerline to determine what is wrong. Is it too hard? Is there negbait? Is the answerline too nebulous? There are many things that can be wrong with a tossup (or nothing at all!) based on metrics, and you should be using those metrics cautiously.

*I haven't seen this tossup myself, and it could be a perfectly okay tossup. Either way, why are we making posts saying "this tossup sucks" in this thread?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:57 am

Ike wrote:I think some of the posts in this thread are a classic case of misusing metrics (in this case, conversion data) in quizbowl. I write tossups on things - though not for this tournament - that are meant to have less than perfect conversion. That doesn't mean the question is bad. For example, I think it's perfectly okay to have a sparingly small amount of Abduction from the Seraglio difficulty tossups in a set where the ostensible purpose is to determine the national champion. As another example, I really am baffled by the conclusion that New Guinea is too hard to tossup - Matt Lafer is right, it's pretty obvious to me that many teams took the "neg bait" that was in the question text and not that Samoa was too hard to tossup. If you remove that "neg bait" you will have better conversion and fewer negs. I think

Jacob Reed demonstrates how to use metrics correctly with his Egyptian burial* example - look at the metrics for a tossup, then look at the question text / answerline to determine what is wrong. Is it too hard? Is there negbait? Is the answerline too nebulous? There are many things that can be wrong with a tossup (or nothing at all!) based on metrics, and you should be using those metrics cautiously.

*I haven't seen this tossup myself, and it could be a perfectly okay tossup. Either way, why are we making posts saying "this tossup sucks" in this thread?
Okay, I don't think I've really made my comments on New Guinea very clear. To clarify, this first sentence:
I'm suspect that the Jared Diamond and Margaret Mead clues are the ones that really threw people off here (again, feedback from actual players at the HSNCT would be great!).
Was meant to be a separate idea from this second sentence:
In the meantime, I will never toss up New Guinea at the high school level ever again. Promise.
In the first sentence, I did exactly what you've recommended: I saw the metrics, I looked back on this question, and I figured that a bunch of people negged on Margaret Mead. Whoops.

--

In contrast, the second sentence was supposed to be about a somewhat different point, which I admittedly did not expand upon.

So here was my second line of thought: This is not the first time I've tried tossing up New Guinea at this level. I also put a tossup on New Guinea in last year's HSNCT, which was similarly negged at a relatively high rate (in about a third of rooms, I think). However, the 2014 tossup had an end conversion of ~90%, while the 2015 tossup has one of ~60%. From these two points of data, I drew the following observations:

1. Questions on New Guinea seem to get negged at a relatively high rate pretty consistently. As I mentioned earlier, I'm quite sure the 2014 question didn't even have any misleading clues (unlike this year's iteration).

Now, this alone is not enough to dissuade me from tossing up New Guinea (as evident by the fact that the 2015 question exists). I had made the same observation last year. However, this year's metrics provided me with a new observation:

2. I suspect that the reason why the 2014 tossup was converted so much better at the end was because it had the word 'Papua' in the FTP, while this year's iteration did not. If that's indeed the case, then a third of rooms last year were literally answering the New Guinea tossup based on the very last word of the question ('Papua'), which I don't really like.

Overall, these two observations suggested to me that high schoolers don't know enough things about New Guinea. Therefore, if I can help it, I'd prefer to not toss it up again in future iterations of the HSNCT.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:39 am

Love the Roger Taney tossup, nice work. Would that be something you would consider "too hard" for a regular IS set?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Corry » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:48 pm

cwest123 wrote:Love the Roger Taney tossup, nice work. Would that be something you would consider "too hard" for a regular IS set?
I don't speak officially on behalf of NAQT, but I personally think that'd be too hard.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:39 pm

Taney has appeared in IS sets before and the conversion numbers were not so great (for instance: answered correctly in 7 rooms of 22 using IS #130).
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:06 am

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:Taney has appeared in IS sets before and the conversion numbers were not so great (for instance: answered correctly in 7 rooms of 22 using IS #130).
As a mostly history player, this saddens me..
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Al Hirt » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:50 pm

Taney is covered in high school US history classes for his significant role in Dred Scott and his role in the Jackson Administration. I can't deny that he's harder to get than a President or a titan of industry, but it's a little baffling why his conversion stats are THAT bad.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by CaptainKirk » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:57 am

While I agree that Taney should still have questions written about him, I also understand why the conversion stats are so low. The APUS course was redesigned this year to make it more streamlined, and it was very noticeable for me since I was enrolled in it. It focused much less on names and dates and emphasized impacts and political values.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Milhouse » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:10 am

FWIW I took APUSH this year and we talked about Taney in all the aspects Shravan mentioned.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by CaptainKirk » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:23 am

Xochiquetzal wrote:FWIW I took APUSH this year and we talked about Taney in all the aspects Shravan mentioned.
I guess my teacher didn't think he was necessary then, I was under the impression that it had turned into a bare-bones class. Good thing I had read about him somewhere else.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:05 am

Xochiquetzal wrote:FWIW I took APUSH this year and we talked about Taney in all the aspects Shravan mentioned.
I'm probably one of the few people who has taken both APUSH and bare bones US History, and from experience, one can easily not pay a bit of attention to Taney in a regular US History course, but in APUSH, he's someone you really can't ignore. Maybe that helps explain his awful conversion rates on an IS set.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:40 am

My regular US History class oddly focused more on Taney's Supreme Court cases that were not Dred Scott rather than Dred Scott, mostly focusing on how Taney differed from Marshall in regards to contract law, so it does vary.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by swaymun.shahee » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:07 am

Can I see the Constantine and The Master and Margarita tossups?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:55 pm

2015 HSNCT round 9 wrote:This emperor honored Elagabalus, or Sol Invictus, by making the Day of the Sun a holiday. His wife Fausta warned him of an assassination plot by his father-in-law Maximian. Later, he effectively ended the Tetrarchy when he defeated Maximian's son Maxentius. With Licinius, he issued the Edict of (*) Milan following the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 313. For 10 points--name this first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
2015 HSNCT round 18 wrote:This novel's second title character uses a wish to ensure that a woman she met at a ball does not have to look at a handkerchief that she used to suffocate an infant. In this book, a black cat named Behemoth aids Satan, who takes the guise of professor Woland. It alternates in setting between 20th-century Moscow and the story of (*) Pontius Pilate in ancient Judea. For 10 points--name this novel by Mikhail Bulgakov.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by swaymun.shahee » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:06 pm

I'm sorry but could I also see the quasar tossup as well. Thank you for the earlier tossups!
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:30 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
2015 HSNCT round 9 wrote:This emperor honored Elagabalus, or Sol Invictus, by making the Day of the Sun a holiday. His wife Fausta warned him of an assassination plot by his father-in-law Maximian. Later, he effectively ended the Tetrarchy when he defeated Maximian's son Maxentius. With Licinius, he issued the Edict of (*) Milan following the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 313. For 10 points--name this first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
2015 HSNCT round 18 wrote:This novel's second title character uses a wish to ensure that a woman she met at a ball does not have to look at a handkerchief that she used to suffocate an infant. In this book, a black cat named Behemoth aids Satan, who takes the guise of professor Woland. It alternates in setting between 20th-century Moscow and the story of (*) Pontius Pilate in ancient Judea. For 10 points--name this novel by Mikhail Bulgakov.
What were the conversion stats for these two tosssups?
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:36 pm

swaymun.shahee wrote:I'm sorry but could I also see the quasar tossup as well. Thank you for the earlier tossups!
2015 HSNCT round 16 wrote:Lunar occultations allowed Cyril Hazard to make accurate position measurements of the point source and jet of the first known example of these objects, named 3C 273. Analysis of 3C 273 by Maarten Schmidt showed that it has a redshift of 0.158. Like other active (*) galactic nuclei, these objects are powered by accretion into a supermassive black hole. For 10 points--name these distant, quasi-stellar radio sources.

answer: _quasar_ (accept _quasi-stellar radio source_ before "quasi"; prompt on "QSO"; accept _3C 273_ before "objects")
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:50 pm

Crazyflight wrote:
bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
2015 HSNCT round 9 wrote:This emperor honored Elagabalus, or Sol Invictus, by making the Day of the Sun a holiday. His wife Fausta warned him of an assassination plot by his father-in-law Maximian. Later, he effectively ended the Tetrarchy when he defeated Maximian's son Maxentius. With Licinius, he issued the Edict of (*) Milan following the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 313. For 10 points--name this first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
2015 HSNCT round 18 wrote:This novel's second title character uses a wish to ensure that a woman she met at a ball does not have to look at a handkerchief that she used to suffocate an infant. In this book, a black cat named Behemoth aids Satan, who takes the guise of professor Woland. It alternates in setting between 20th-century Moscow and the story of (*) Pontius Pilate in ancient Judea. For 10 points--name this novel by Mikhail Bulgakov.
What were the conversion stats for these two tosssups?
Constantine: 52/33/14 in 87 rooms (so the power mark was probably a bit too generous)

Master and Margarita: 31/2/2 in 37 rooms (an even more extreme power rate, but note that this is round 18, so every team that heard it will have already won at least seven games)
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by heterodyne » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:27 pm

It could also be that Behemoth is one of the most iconic things from the books, being on the cover of several editions.
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Re: 2015 HSNCT conversion stats discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:47 pm

The power mark in that is pretty generous--I would imagine unless you're just going off word association of author/book, even a hazy knowledge of the book's plot and themes (Russia/Satan/two title characters) should result in a power (I'm not complaining about this per se, I know very little about the book).
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